Family prayer challenge posed by Cardinal Dew


Cardinal John Dew of Wellington has told Catholic educators that a major challenge today is helping families to pray together.

In a homily at a teachers’ commissioning Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart last month, Cardinal Dew said “prayer must be learned and discovered in families”.

“I believe one of our major challenges today is to help families to pray together,” the cardinal said.

“It will not just happen automatically.”

Cardinal Dew linked this challenge with the concept of mercy.

Referring to the book, “The Name of God is Mercy”, Cardinal Dew said Pope Francis states that God goes to extraordinary lengths to enter into our hearts.

“It is a powerful thought to know that you and I are able to provide opportunities for God to enter the heart of another: – the heart of your students; the heart of a fellow staff member; the heart of someone you find difficult to get on with; and – our own heart,” Cardinal Dew said.

“Are our hearts open and ready to let God in?” he asked.

“Last week I was reading an article in the latest Tui Motu magazine entitled ‘Relentless Mercy’.

“I was quite disturbed to see this in print: ‘It is undeniable that the common perception in the West is that Christianity is the purveyor of judgement, exclusion, condemnation and punishment.’

“I had heard all of that said before but to see these words in print did actually shake me,” the cardinal said.

“God does not enter our hearts through judgement, exclusion, condemnation and punishment. God enters our hearts, the hearts of your pupils, through mercy.”

“When we truly believe God is kind and merciful, compassionate, generous, loving and forgiving, then we will be like that too, because we imitate the God we believe in,” Cardinal Dew added.

“When we are like God then we have the amazing gift as people in Catholic education to enable others to open their hearts so that God may enter in,” he concluded.


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News category: New Zealand.

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